Archive:Civil War Pension File, John Bright

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Civil War Pension File, John Bright
Widow: Emilie (Emelia) Bright
Widow Applic. # 93027 Cert. # 93722
National Archives Building, Washington, D.C.

She is identified as Emilia8 Whitney (Nathan7, Nathan6, David5, Nathan4, Nathaniel3, Benjamin2, John1).

She was born about 1832, the daughter of Nathan and Ann Mary (Hensel) Whitney.


Private, Company I, 16th Kansas Cavalry

Emelia Bright signed a Widow's Claim for Pension from Franklin County, Kansas on 2 May 1865. She is thirty-four years old and a resident of Peoria City, Franklin County, Kansas. She is the widow of John Bright, who was a private in Company I commanded by 1st Lieutenant Barkley in the 16th Regiment of Kansas Volunteers, commanded by Colonel Davis. Her husband died at Peoria City, Kansas on 28 April 1864 of measles, contracted while in the line of duty, in the service of the United States. She married John Bright in the State of Ohio on 31 August 1855 (sic). They were married by Thomas Neal, Justice of the Peace. She has recorded evidence of the marriage.

Born to her and her husband were the following children who are now under the age of sixteen:

Mary J. Bright, born 16 September 1856
Martha Bright, born 1 September 1858
Matilda Bright, born 1 January 1861
Joseph Bright, born 8 October 1863

All of them are still living, and reside in Franklin County, Kansas.

The Adjutant General's Office informed the Commissioner of Pensions that John Bright was enrolled on 1 March 1864 at Peoria City in Company I, 16th Regiment of Kansas Cavalry Volunteers to serve three years. He was mustered in a private on 30 April 1864 at Fort Leavenworth. He is reported died of measles 28 April 1864 at Peoria, Kansas.

First Lieutenant Barricklow of Company I of the 16 Regiment, Kansas Cavalry certifies that he was acquainted with John Bright, who was a member of his company in April 1864. John became sick with the measles and unfit for duty. There was no hospital in reach, so he gave him a leave of absence until he again became fit for duty. On 28 April 1864, and before the leave of absence expired, John Bright died of the measles.

Weston T. Sinclair, Judge of Probate, in and for Monroe County, Ohio provided a certified copy of the marriage record. It reads: "John Bright and Amelia (sic) Whitney. Marriage license issued 1 September 1854, the State of Ohio, Monroe County. I certify that on the 10th day of September 1854 John Bright and Amelia (sic) Whitney were by me legally joined in marriage. Thomas Neal, J.P."

There must not have been a written record of the births of the children. Three of Emilia's siblings: Jonas, Dennis, and Nathan, all provided testimony that they were well acquainted with John and Emilia Bright. Jonas and Dennis testify that they live only one mile from the Bright family. They all supported the dates of birth for the children. There is also supporting testimony from the physician, Joseph Cusick, who attended the births of the children.

Emilia was granted a pension of eight dollars per month, with an additional two dollars per month for each of the children. Emilia died 10 November 1885. She remained a widow until her death.


Copyright © 2006, Kenneth L. Whitney and the Whitney Research Group

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